I hate being ill.
There are some art shows I want to see in London and now I find they're due to close soon. One of them is the British Folk Art show at the Tate Britain gallery. If I don't get there I suppose I can look at the British Folk Art I photographed on our trip, and I thought you might like to see some home made creations too.
I'll start in Whitby, Yorkshire, which is a coastal town famous for Dracula and various other interesting things. It has a big Goth population. The Goths are not exactly serious - I bought some great chili pickle from a nice man called Chris, aka Howling Goth, in the market, (and click here to see the testimonials... ) Anyway this Count Dracula was partying in a suburban dustbin outside Whitby.
Scarecrow festivals are a good source of folk art, and the scarecrows often stay up even when the festival's over. After all, if you've worked hard at something, why take it down in a hurry? I thought there was some good craftsmanship in this surreal fisherman sitting atop a hedge
Sometimes though, you had to ask, well, what is going on? I just couldn't figure out what was sitting on that right hand bench in the park at Sleights, and nor could the fellow on the left hand bench, by the look of it.
Even when you enlarge the figure, it's impossible to guess what it is, but I do like its casually self assured air, relaxing on the bench with one gumboot sticking out.
Both the cut out vintage man in this picture and the customer in the background were pointing at the same boat on this village's charming boating pond.
And on a dull grey day in Lincolnshire it cheered me to spot Psy by the roadside. I hummed "Gangnam Style" for the next few miles.....
... and now I can put in my favourite of the many parodies of that famous song. It's by a shock trauma platoon of the US Navy and Marines in Afghanistan. Isn't it great?
Quite a jump to the Duchess of Cambridge made from jelly beans - this very large and accomplished image was in a sweetshop window in the city of Cambridge.
A little further on, in Newark, Notts, we went to one of the best b&bs I've stayed in for ages, called Compton House. and I spotted this fox sitting in the hall.
The owner explained she'd spotted the fox at a sale in a taxidermy shop where the vendor told her it was the worst stuffed fox they'd ever had for sale. She felt so sorry for it that she bought her and now dresses it up glamorously in the summer months, and warmly, complete with scarf, in the winter.
Now, I'd say it's the classiest fox in Nottinghamshire.
The most unsettling piece of home made or folk art I saw was this stern, slightly angelic figure. At first I thought it was another scarecrow, and perhaps it is, but it seems to be showing the way to a wedding. It's creepy, with its blue face. I'd like to know the story behind it.
Yes, there are a lot of examples of artistic self expression going on around England. And so I wish I had dared ask this group why they all had green hair. But I just kept my mouth shut and let them go past!